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Organization & Leadership

Message from the CEO

Marion (Mary Anne) Ellis, CEO 

Welcome to Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority. At 61,000 km2, our region accounts for almost 10 per cent of the province geographically and 10 per cent of total population. Our uniqueness lies in the fact that we encompass Manitoba’s  cottage country. In the summer, our population swells with cottage owners, campers and outdoor lovers drawn to the natural beauty that Manitoba’s lakes, rivers, forests and beaches have to offer. 

The natural beauty of our region provides residents with the work life balance we’re all seeking in today’s busy lifestyles. It’s also the place that many Manitobans work towards spending their retirement years. No traffic jams, no parking issues, no exhaust fumes and the smell of spruce and pine or freshly cut hay, depending on where you go, are hallmarks of an Interlake-Eastern RHA lifestyle.

As an RHA, we’re striving to be recognized as a trusted health-care partner, providing sustainable, accessible, integrated, evidence-based care to improve health status and outcomes in all of our communities and achieve health equity across the region. We’re working with the province to ensure that our residents have a voice in health care and that all of our residents have access to their own health-care provider and integration into a primary health care network to address a range of health-care needs. 

Our staff, physicians and volunteers make our RHA the place of comfort and care that it is. Along with our directors and community partners, we are committed to exploring the options that will make our delivery of health care all that it can be for our residents. 

Corporate Office

233A Main Street
Selkirk, Manitoba
R1A 1S1

1-204-785-4700 / 1-855-347-8500

Leadership Team

Marion Ellis, RN, BN, MN
Chief Executive Officer

Marion has almost 30 years’ nursing leadership experience comprising 21 years of senior leadership experience including the positions of executive director of clinical services for the Northern RHA and vice president of acute care and chief nursing officer for the former Burntwood RHA. She began her nursing career in the United Kingdom, where she graduated with a diploma in nursing. In addition, she completed her BScN with distinction from Brandon University. Marion has also completed her master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Manitoba. She has a proven reputation for establishing effective leadership and management teams, as well as engaging communities and staff in working towards improved health outcomes and safe patient care.

Implementation Lead, Clinical & Preventive Services Plan (CPSP)

Currently Vacant

Tanya Cheetham, RN, BN
Regional Lead, Health Services Public Health, Acute Care and Chief Nursing Officer

Tanya has 25 years of nursing experience with 16 years in leadership roles. She has worked in tertiary, community and rural hospital settings. Prior to joining Interlake-Eastern RHA in 2017, Tanya was the program director of the surgery program at Concordia Hospital. She first served as Interlake-Eastern RHA’s director of health services for acute care, medicine, renal health and infection prevention and control.  More recently her portfolio included surgical services.

Tanya brings to the chief nursing officer role a history of sustained engagement with nursing and frontline staff in creating practical solutions to the ever changing realities in the delivery of health care.  She is committed to expanding that engagement and working with all colleagues across the health care system so that we can collectively find ways to support each other while sustaining services.

Lauralou Cicierski
Regional Lead, Communications

Lauralou has invested her career in health and environmental communications in both private and public organizations. She has been contributing to the work of Interlake-Eastern RHA since 2009. She graduated with college communication training and also holds a BSc in environmental science. Working from the RHA’s corporate office in Selkirk, she considers herself fortunate to be a resident of the region and to have the opportunity to work alongside her colleagues in health care service delivery.

Lorianne Kowaliszyn, CPA, CA

Regional Lead Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer

Lorianne Kowaliszyn, a chartered professional accountant, joined IERHA as the chief financial officer and regional lead for corporate services in June 2023. She previously served as executive director of finance for Shared Health.

Prior to that, she worked in finance and leadership roles for Canada Life, Concordia Hospital, Concordia Place and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

In addition, Lorianne is serving on the board of directors for HEB Manitoba.

Lorianne brings to the role strong experience in financial reporting, navigating transformation and business case development.

Corrie Cole

Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer & Board of Directors

Kate Hodgson, RN, BN
Regional Lead, Health Services Community & Continuing Care

Kate has worked in the field of nursing for over 20 years. She joined Interlake-Eastern RHA in 2017 as regional director of acute care and also assumed the role of interim director of Selkirk Regional Health Centre. Prior to that, she was program director of emergency and critical care at Concordia Hospital. With emphasis on open communication, enhancing relationships and developing inter-professional teams, Kate is committed to promoting interdisciplinary patient-centered approaches to care.

Julene Sawatzky
Regional Lead, Human Resources

Julene Sawatzky comes to Interlake-Eastern RHA from Canadian Mennonite University where she held the position of director of strategic advancement. She has proven to be effective in generating cross-functional collaboration and alignment within her teams and within organizations. She is currently completing her MBA. Julene and her family are residents of the region. She is a proponent of the lifestyle benefits that can be enjoyed when working close to home.

Dr. Charles Penner, MD
Regional Lead, Medical Services & Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Penner was born in the Interlake region and lived the first several years of his life in Moosehorn. He is trained as a respirologist and intensivist and has spent his career practicing in Comox, Abu Dhabi and Brandon. He served as a chief medical officer in the former Brandon Regional Health Authority for seven years then, more recently, in an interim capacity for a six-month period in Prairie Mountain Health. He was inaugural associate dean for the Brandon satellite campus of the University Max Rady College of Medicine, a position he held from 2013 to 2022.

Katherine Podaima, RN BN MHS
Regional Lead, Quality Patient Safety and Accreditation

Katherine has broad clinical experience across the continuum of care, in public health, long term care and acute care. She has served as director of acute care emergency departments, Cancer Care services and acute care education for six years and prior to that was a clinical team manager. Katherine has extensive operational leadership experience and has demonstrated competencies in performance management at an individual and program level.

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